December 08 2009
Rome can be infinitely rewarding and monumentally exasperating for the art lover. Museums seemingly open on the whim of staff, advance tickets mysteriously sell out, while paintings disappear for restoration – often for years.
There is, however, one gallery that never closes, and its collection of paintings, sculpture, furniture and tapestries is superb. Its latest acquisition is a magnificent cycle by Tiepolo, on a par, perhaps, with his ceiling frescoes in the Palazzo Labia in Venice, around which revolves the action of Anthony Powell’s novel, Temporary Kings.
The gallery in question also houses La Pergola, the only Michelin three-star-rated restaurant in the “eternal city”, and commands possibly the best panorama of it, with the dome of St Peter’s in the right foreground. Moreover, it levies no entrance charge.
And the name of this exhibitory paragon? The Rome Cavalieri hotel, set high upon Monte Mare. With its airy modern guest rooms, this is not so much a hotel, more a resort overlooking the capital. “Tea with Tiepolo” is served daily, including quail’s eggs with caviar and black truffles. All of which rather takes the exasperation out of appreciation.
Rooms from €270 B&B.